We are trying to walk each morning for exercise. A couple of blocks down the street from our hotel, the beach becomes open space (no hotels or condos) for well over a mile. Once we’re on the beach side, there are no further side streets making us wait at lights to cross, so we can just get up to speed and go.
Honolulu has done a nice job of creating recreational space for a variety of interests along the beach. There is an area for volleyball, grassy areas with picnic tables, fresh water showers, and so on. Near the volleyball area is a metal framework for a 30 foot movie screen they use for showing movies at the beach every couple of weeks. The Honolulu Zoo and more open area is across the street from the beach. It is a refreshing feeling compared to the claustrophobia of the opposite end of Waikiki which is essentially a very large, high end outdoor mall !!
There is a police station on the corner we normally cross over to the beach. Not a bad spot to be assigned on the police beat!
Behind it is one of many surfboard storage areas we’ve noticed along the beach. I’m not sure if it is free or if they have to pay for it.
There’s probably few people in the world who don’t know that Hawaii is synonymous with surfing. What I didn’t realize is just how popular it is. My mental images of surfing come from movies or seeing the big professional competitions that used to be televised -surfers on really big waves. Here it seems like everyone hits the beach with a surfboard or boogie board under their arm. The waves are moderate in size -not “monster” sized- and it seems like when someone catches one, the ride is over in the blink of an eye. It is fun to see all the people out in the water catching waves. The surfers/boogie boarders come in all sizes and ages.
Not far along on our walk is a massive banyan tree. These are really fascinating trees. It is hard to get a picture that really shows how huge they are. I asked Mike to pose for scale, but later I was able to get most of it into a picture from across the street.
We have recently joined the Elks Lodge in our home town and as it turns out, there’s an Elks Lodge located at the far end of our walk. The first day we made a point to walk until we found it and now use their parking lot as our turn-around on morning walks.
The hustle and bustle of the hotel area of Waikiki seemed far away!
There weren’t many people there when we arrived, so it seemed like we had the whole outdoor dining area to ourselves. We really enjoyed our lunch and the relaxing atmosphere at the Lodge. What a lovely facility for the Elks of Oahu.
Walking back I took some random photos:
Our friend Lynn, who is extremely knowledgeable about “all things Hawaii”, told me to keep an eye out for St. Augustine By The Sea. (She knows I love old churches). We found it hidden just behind some stores that had obviously been squeezed in between the church and the main drag. Unfortunately it was closed -so this is my only photo. It is very unique looking. It turns out that this church is right behind the Burger King – which I’d snapped the picture of on our way to the Elks…and found the church on the way back. Amazing how I only saw what was in front of my face at the time!
The church has gone through many phases over the last 160-ish years. The original chapel was made from palm fronds and wood that had washed up on shore. From that simple beginning -the church was relocated, rebuilt and enlarged many times. This version was blessed in 1962. I might have walked right by if I hadn’t been looking for it (due to the buildings on the street front hiding it).
The sidewalks in Waikiki are wide and prettily landscaped, done in flagstone design. Evidently this project, done between 2018 and 2019, caused a lot of aggravation for local businesses and residents. I hope the citizens are happy with the results because it really is quite nice.
As we’ve been walking pretty much from one end of Waikiki to the other along these sidewalks, I started noticing that at many of the street corners, there are Hawaiian words with their meaning etched into the flagstones. One word per corner (where they appear).
Waikiki means “spouting water” because of the rivers and natural springs that were found in the area. Originally this area was mostly swampland. As far back as the 1400’s the chief of the era created an irrigation system to take advantage of the resources. One of the things they did was build fish ponds and planted taro patches. Captain Cook arrived in the area in 1778. Honolulu began as a small harbor village in the 1800’s …founded by foreign fishermen. As trade grew, it became a good place for ships to dock. King Kamehameha decided to move his royal court from the big island of Hawaii to Honolulu in 1809 due to the growing trade situation. As a result, Waikiki became sort of the “weekend getaway” spot for Hawaiian royalty. Basically -the rest is history.
We paused here before our walk one morning and just soaked in the view for awhile.
It is not hard to imagine that this was, at one time, the playground of Hawaiian royalty!
Categories: In Search Of The Elks